Good news for companies: easier cross-border VAT returns
A new EU proposal would limit the number of information boxes to five standardised ones applicable in all EU countries– for example chargeable VAT, deductible VAT, net VAT amount (payable or receivable), aggregate value of input transactions, aggregate value of output transactions. The VAT forms will be available in all official EU languages. Bad news is that all the EU countries can add a maximum of 21 types of additional columns. The EU Commissioner, Algirdas Šemeta, also proposes to harmonise the periodicity of VAT returns and reimbursements, procedures for submitting corrections and the format of electronic submission of returns. Under the current law, a company has to submit its VAT obligations per month in one country, whilst it could be on a quarterly base in another.
The new regime will decrease the administrative burden on companies as there is one overall VAT returns scheme for all EU countries to be filed. The new system is planned to save about €15 billion a year for the companies altogether. The EU also promotes the idea of e-submission of VAT return procedures.
The governments will have easier job when monitoring tax compliance obligations of companies. A 2011 study of the EU demonstrated that the authorities were still dealing with a €193 billion gap caused by tax evasion or ineffective tax compliance schemes.
The head of taxation at ACCA, Chas Roy-Chowdhury, said about the proposed change:“It represents a step in the right direction to help companies, especially small ones, to make the most of – and possibly expand – their business opportunities in the single market. The proposal will contribute to transparency and facilitate more coordinated exchanges of information between national administrations".
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